Anti-War Protest in Los Angeles, CA - August 12, 2006
I’ve been to plenty of anti-war demonstrations in the past and therefore, I’m not easily shocked by the bizarre and sometimes disgusting behavior that is often exhibited by the protestors at these events. But the "anti-war" protest which I attended in downtown Los Angeles on Saturday, August 12th, 2006 was too foul, even for me.
Sponsored by the Communist front group, International ANSWER, this march coincided with the peak of the war between the Syrian / Iranian - backed terrorist organization, Hezbollah and the state of Israel.
I was a bit late arriving, and as I approached Broadway, from Pershing Square, I saw that the march was already underway.
The usual Bush-haters were on hand…
As were the regular black-clad, teenaged anarchists…
The World Can’t Wait must have not gotten the word as there were barely enough of them to hold the banner…
Still, there was no shortage of communists and socialists.
But what struck me was the sheer number of anti-Israel protestors… and the viciousness of their signs and placards.
Even ancient blood libels were not out of bounds…
The crowd was angrier than I had seen at previous demonstrations. Peace signs were few and far between.
Many of the signs accused Israel of "aparthied" and "ethnic cleansing".
A massive Lebanese flag was carried down the street.
Members of the Saudi-funded Council on American Islamic Relations, better known as CAIR, walked among the protestors.
There were few smiles among the throngs.
Many of the signs featured bloody images of carnage and dead children.
The United States, Britain and Israel were seen by most of the demonstrators being the "real enemy".
And Hezbollah were clearly viewed as the good guys.
What was even more disturbing were how many people brought their children… not to mention the signs they put into their young hands.
These young women were chanting, "Bomb, bomb Israel. Long Live Hamas!"
I tried to capture it on video here, but the crowd was moving quickly and just as I started filming they changed their chant. Still, you can feel the chaos and angry tension of the protestors…
The crowd moved along down the street, and I could feel the anger growing. So, as the chanting became louder and the pace of the march picked up, I decided to cut across one block to the spot where the march was supposed to end in a mass rally behind Los Angeles City Hall.
On the side street I was happy to find the "Powder People" (…or at least that’s what I call them).
They’re a performance art group that trails around behind these "anti-war" protests like crazy ghosts covered in what appears to be white flour. Yes, they’re crazy, but compared to the rabid, terrorist supporting lunacy that I had been with moments before, the Powder People were a breath of fresh air.
As I rounded the corner behind L.A. City Hall, I cut across towards the rally point where the march was to end (with a performance by some Palestinian hip-hop group and the usual assortment of screaming Leftists). In the distance I could see a crowd of LA Police officers surrounding a small group of people holding an American flag. As I got closer, I could see that it was actually four individuals -- counter protestors - holding the very symbols of everything that the on coming mob was here to protest against: the American flag, the Israel flag and a sign stating: "Support Israel’s Right To Exist".
There were only a few police, mostly on bikes, along the march from Olympic Blvd to this point, but around these four brave souls there were a few dozen police officers, at least 10 of which were in full riot gear. There were even more on a bridge above.
There were also a couple more police officers standing to the side with, what appeared to be, tear-gas guns.
The demonstrators had not yet arrived and a few media folks were interviewing the Israel-supporters.
Tension mounted as the mob of Hezbollah and Hamas supporters rounded the turn and headed towards the final rally, which would lead them right past the four lonely counter-protestors.
When the mob finally caught view of the Israeli flag, a roar went through the crowd. Within a moment, the four pro-Israel demonstrators were confronted by a passing throng of perhaps a thousand rage-filled, Israel-haters. Insults were hurled and middle fingers were raised high…
Most of the "anti-war" people cursed and waved their fists - many spat on the ground - but continued on past, to the final gathering place another block down the road… but some stayed to curse the Zionists.
The scene was chaotic, as about 50-75 people spent the next hour cursing at the Jews.
This experience - watching a foul, hate-filled mob screaming "Go back to Europe", is something I’ll never forget for the rest of my life.
Here is a small sample…
The Israel supporters tried to defend their position…
But, in the end, it was futile.
I have no doubt that, had the police not been out in force to protect these four men, they would surely have been attacked.
When I arrived home later that afternoon, I felt physically ill from what I had seen. The demented, irrational hatred of that mob, and the sight of so many children being taught to hate Jews, left me utterly shaken.
The following day I checked the Los Angeles Times to see how they had covered this event - after all, the march had ended just a couple of blocks away from the Times building - and I wasn’t surprised to see that their coverage of this demonstration bared no resemblence to the events which I had witnessed. Having now attended numerous anti-war demonstrations, I can only conclude that that the reporters sent to cover these events go out of their way to avoid showing the disturbing, crazy and often overtly anti-American images which are everywhere one looks.
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